Tamasin Day-Lewis’s Shortcrust Pastry Dough

From Tamasin Day-Lewis’s book, Tarts With Tops On: Or How To Make the Perfect Pie.

3 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup unsalted butter, cold
2 to 2½ tablespoons ice-cold water

If you’re using a food processor: Sift the flour and a pinch of salt into a food processor, then cut the cold butter into small pieces on top of it. Process it for 20 to 30 seconds, then add ice-cold water through the top, a tablespoon at a time — 2 to 2½ should be enough for about 10 ounces of dough — with the machine running. If the paste is still in crumbly little bits after a minute or two, add a tablespoon more water, but remember, the more water you use, the more the crust will shrink if you bake it blind. One solution is to use a bit of cream or egg yolk instead of water. The moment the dough has cohered into a single ball, stop, remove it, wrap it in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

If you’re making pastry dough by hand: Sift the flour into a large bowl with the salt, add the chopped butter, and work as briskly as you can to rub the fat into the flour. Use the tips of your fingers only, rather like running grains of hot sand through your fingers. Add the water bit by bit as before; wrap and chill the dough.

If you’re making a double-crust pie, divide the dough into roughly two-thirds and one-third. Then scatter a bit of flour on your work surface, roll your rolling pin in it, dust the palms of your hands, and start rolling. Always roll away from yourself, turning the dough as you go, and keep the rolling pin and work surface floured to prevent sticking.

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